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COFEK slams government treatment of private media

03 July 2014, 14:10

Nairobi - The Consumer Federation of Kenya (COFEK) has faulted the Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communication and Technology, Dr. Fred Matiang’i on his alleged stance to starve media houses of government advertisements.

 It described such a stand as “premature” and “ill intended.”

COFEK said in a statement that the move by Matiang’i, “while grounded on welcome austerity measures is premature, suspect and laced with ill intention of strangling media freedom.”

The body added that financially-struggling media houses would no longer remain independent and hence affect public accountability in checking government excesses.

“Mainstream media houses no longer carry heavy investigative stories against government. They are playing apologists for government’s poor show against public expectations,” said COFEK in a statement.

According to COFEK, the alleged illegality of the move by Matiang’i infringed on the Bill of Rights especially under Article 35 of the Constitution in which every citizen had the right to information held by the state.

“Under Article 46(1)(b), consumers have the right to information necessary for them to gain full benefit from goods and services including those from Government. Such information cannot be effectively and efficiently relayed through internet,” said COFEK.

It added that the attempt to decree mandatory use of internet as a medium of relaying such information amounts to discrimination contrary to provisions of Article 27(4).

 – CAJ News

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